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April 25, 1986 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

26 Friday, April 25, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

PURELY COMMENTARY

Continued from Page 2

the instance of Lebanon when the PLO
turned that territory into a terrorist ave-
nue for attacks on Israel? What has inhib-
ited governments to adopt policies of
firmness to outlaw and prevent terrorism?
Netanyahu views the cause as due to two
vices: "One is greed, or a heedless promo-
tion of economic self-interest, whatever
the political or moral . consequence. The
other is political cowardice, which means
sitting it out while your'rilly is attacked,
or responds to an,rittack, so as not to in-
voke the rest of the terrorists.
"Both tendencies influence the un-
favorable response to the American initia-
tive for sanctions against Libya in 1986
following the attacks .on the Vienna and
Rome airports. Neither cowardice nor
greed will easily disappear. If, however,
the United States persists in its firm
stand, over time a common policy for the
West would eventually emerge, pressur-
ing, even shaming, Western states into
compliance."
Netanyahu wrote this considerably
before th April 14 bombing of Libya. Is the
Netanyahu statement mere wishful
thinking or will it prove prophecy?
Netanyahu justifies criticism of the
media in its treatment of terrorism and
terrorists. He indicated how terrorists
utilize the press to gain attention for
themselves and to benefit from a lack of
firmness by journalists. He makes these
. points, outliriing the obligations of a
thoughtufl press to expose the dangers:

But how do we form our opin-
ions of the present? The West de-
pends in large measure on its
media. This is why terrorists, in
their war against the West, devote
so niuch of their strategy and their
effort to capturing the Western
press and using it for their own
purposes. But this need not be a
one-way street. Terrorism's
unique reliance on the press and
television of the democracies gives
them tremendous power to
amplify terrorism's message or to
snuff it out. It has been said, cor-
rectly, that the Western media
have a penchant to legitimize ter-
rorists by treating them as re-
spectable political adversaries
and their claims as worthy of seri-
ous consideration.
But the media's capacity to do
such damage is the mirror image
of their capacity to tlo good. They
can and should refuse to broad-
cast inte
! vie-Ws with terrorists un-
critical' . They can and should
expose the sham of terrorist
claims: They can and should ex-
pose their grisly acts for what they
are. Should? Some say we canot
use that word in relation to a free
press. I fail to see why citizens
cannot scrutinize and criticize
journalists. Scrutiny is not censor-
ship.What the public has a right to
demand of journalists is the same
scrupulousness and profes-
sionalism, no more and no less,
that they would show in the case
of covering organized crime and
its bosses. The proven power of a
thorough press investigation to
expose and repudiate such cor-
ruption — indeed, to galvanize
public opposition against it — is
exactly the power that cap be har-
nessed against terrorism. A
thoughtful press can turn ter-
rorism's greatest weapon against
the terrorists themselves:
This is the responsibility of the
West's press. It is second only to
the responsibility of its political

leadership. For only a determined
leadership can make the West
overcome its three impediments —
greed, cowardice, and moral con-
fusion. Which leadership? It can
only come from the United States,
which alone has the capacity to
align the West in this matter, alone
can credibly threaten the offen-
ders, and alone can impel the
neutrals to shed their neutrality.
The United States appears to
be moving precisely in this direc-
tion, albeit sometimes at a mad-
deningly slow pace. America
encountered terrorism in the mid-
dle 1960s. By the middle 1970s, it
realized it was its principal target.
By the middle 1980s, it began
thinking seriously about taking
action. The more America resorts
to action, such as punishing ter-
rorists and their backers, the
greater the number of states
which will join the effort to com-
bat terrorism. Allies and adver-
saries alike, the entire world in
fact, are waiting to see the depth
of American resolve.
Calling' for courage in the great
battle, to be displayed by governments as
well as peoples, Netanyahu states, "If we
seriously want to win the war against ter-
rorism, people must be prepared to endure
sacrifice and even, should there be the loss
of loved ones, immeasuitible pain."
Netanyahu provides these admoni-
tions and guidelines in his superb study of
the serious issues:
Terrorism is a phenomenon
which tries to evoke one feeling:
fear. It is understandable that the
one virtue most necessary to de-
feat terrorism is therefore the an-
tithesis of fear: courage.
Courage, said the Romans, is
not the only virtue, but it is the
single virtue without which all the
others are meaningless.
The terrorist challenge must
be answered. The choice is be-
tween a free society based on law
and compassion and a rampant
barbarism in the service of brute
force and tyranny. Confusion and
vacillation facilitated the rise of
terrorism. Clarity and courage
will ensure its defeat.

The publishers of the highly-
provocative Netanyahu volume provide a
significant summation of the obligations
to fight terrorism as a human obligation:
The war against terrorism can
be won by the West if the United
States and its allies will:
1) Adopt a no-concessions
policy and be prepared to apply
force.
2) Conduct continuous cam-
paigns against the sponsors of ter-
rorism; avoid erratic responses to
individual terrorist acts. If a gov-
ernment has harbored, trained, or
launched terrorists, it becomes a
legitimate target of military re-
sponse.
3) Systematically coordinate
Western anti-terrorist forces, and
adopt a common doctrine against
terrorism. The United States
should initiate, with two or three
countries, such an anti-terrorist
affiance.
4) Apply political pressures
against states that collaborate
with terrorists: from international
condemnation to severing dip-
lomatic relations. Shut down em-

bassies when irrefutable proof
links the' li to terrorists.
5) Apply economic sanctions,
including boycott and embargo.
Deny landing and docking rights
to the planes and ships of offend-
ing states; withdraw all economic
aid or other benefits.
61 Put "neutral" nations on
notice; tell states which provide
safe passage to terrorists, accept a
hijacked plane without assisting it
in the rescue of the hostages or
preventing the hijackers' escape,
or •refuse to extradite or punish
terrorists, that they are colluding
with terrorism.
7) Make even lesser forms of
tolerating terrorism costly: such
lapses as laxity in airport security
should be considered tacit forms
of collusion with terrorists. Gov-
ernments that do not uphold their
security obligations should have
their airports cut off from the rest of
the inernational aviation system.
8) Educate the press: ter-
rorists rely on the media, which
often legitimize them by treating
them as respectable politicians.
Rule of thumb: the press should
treat terrorists the way it treats
organized crime and its bosses —
exposing and repudiating their
crimes and galvanizing public
opinion against them.
The world's most serious scourge has
induced the compilation of a great book by
a distinguished statesman and scholar.
Terrorism: How the West Can Win is must
reading for statesmen and the citizens of
the Free World. It is an expose and a guide
to human duties, inspiring actions against
the horrors that have thrown the world
into fright. Netanyahu has earned the
gratitude of free peoples everywhere for
exposing the horrors and providing
guidelines on how to combat the terrors.

19 c-

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cer,tamkzax.

Jewish Unity:
Compelling Need,
Difficult Road

Pope And The Jews:
How Good, PleasOnt
To Dwell In Un•

Even in the darkest days of Vat-
icanized anti-Semitism, official Catholi-
cism never denied its origin in Judaism.
Christianity always treated the Holy
Scriptures, their inheritance from
Judaism, as their own treasure. The
Psalms especially always predominated in
worship.
How normal, therefore, for the Pope of
our modernity, John Paul II, to reach a
new height in fraternizing with Jews, in
embracing the Chief Rabbi of Rome, and
for the congregants to recite Psalm 133!
Jewish gatherings everywhere, espe-
cially the Zionist, to emphasize Jewish
unity and the need for it, always recited or
sang the shevet ahim gam yahad . . . "how
good and how pleasant for brethren to
dwell together in unity." Now the Jewish
congregation in Rome, welcoming the
Pope, the first such visit by a Roman
Potentate to a synagogue, recited Psalm
133:

A Song of Ascents; of David.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it
is
For brethren to dwell together in un-
ity!
It is like the precious oil upon the
head,
Coming down upon the beard;
Even Aaron's beard,
That cometh down upon the collar of
his garments;



11111111111

Like the dew of Hermon,
That cometh down upon the moun-
tains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the
blessing,
Even life for ever.
How appropriate that Pope John Paul
II should have condemned anti-Semitism
in his appeal for unity! Will the world
hearken to that voice? Will the' hatred for
Jews, whick continues in evidence in too
many places, serve to bring brethren to-
gether in unity against all forms of
hatred?
What the Pope did must result in
some benefits. The Vatican could have
signaled recognition of Israel. Hopefully
that will come soon. An end to or drastic
reduction of prejudice against Jews will
surely contribute to it. Meanwhile, an
embrace of friendship helps create the
unity of Brotherhood. It is a message that
can serve well the universal needs as well
as the international Jewish and non-
Jewish relationships.

Rabbi Emanuel Backman

Rabbi Alexander Schindler '

Jewish leadership, especially in the
religious spheres and among theologians
as well as in major Jewish activism, is
manifesting an impressive concern with
the need to establish unity in Jewish
ranks.
Unity does not and must not spell uni-
formity. It does call for a tolerating ap-
proach of Jew to Jew, even while they dif-

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